Russia investigates information that British special forces were secretly deployed in Ukraine
Russia’s top investigative agency said on Saturday it was looking into an allegation that the SAS had been deployed to the Lviv region in western Ukraine.
Accordingly, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency quoted a Russian security source as saying that about 20 members of the SAS – an elite task force trained to conduct special operations, monitor and counter-terrorism – active in Ukraine.
A statement by the Russian Investigative Committee said it would monitor allegations that the SAS was deployed “to assist Ukrainian special services in organizing sabotage activities on Ukrainian territory”.
The British Ministry of Defense did not immediately comment on the Russia investigation.
Britain sent military trainers to Ukraine earlier this year to teach local forces how to use anti-tank weapons. On February 17, a week before Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, Britain announced it was withdrawing all but those necessary to protect its ambassador to Ukraine.
In fact, British troops have traveled to Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. But they withdrew in February to avoid direct conflict with Russian forces. and reduce the possibility of NATO being drawn into the conflict in Ukraine.
It is unclear what steps the Russian Investigative Committee intends to take in response to any SAS involvement in Ukraine.
The possible presence of forces from a NATO country in Ukraine is taken very seriously because Russia has warned the West that it should not get involved in the war.
Since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out, Britain has been supplying Ukraine with light anti-ship, anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons. These weapons have proved useful for Ukraine against Russian armored vehicles and stopping the advance of Russian forces.
The British government confirmed this week that a small number of Ukrainian officers are being trained in Britain for the first time since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said officers had begun training with armored patrol vehicles donated by the UK this month.
The UK, along with its allies, is providing new types of equipment that Ukrainian soldiers have never used before to help them repel Russian forces, the spokesman said.
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